The first 90 days post-launch of a medical device product or service are the most critical to the long-term success of the product. During this period, the product or service is now in use and customer-facing, the sales force is actively selling the product, and the launch team is using the messaging crafted many months ago to introduce it to the world.
Ensuring the first 90 days after a device launch progresses smoothly is important for gaining credibility with sales teams, sales management, and especially, consumers. Salespersons are less inclined to want to introduce a new product into their accounts if they are unsure the product will perform as expected or desired. After all, these products reflect on the salesperson who has direct relationships with their accounts. If they are not confident in the product, the salesperson will be less confident in promoting the product or service and customers will be hesitant to adopt as well.
During the first three months of a launch, the global commercial marketing team evaluates feedback from customers. This feedback encompasses product performance, the effectiveness of the marketing messages, evaluations of procedures with the new product or service, and assessing whether product tweaks are necessary.
To coordinate all of the post-launch activities within the first 90 days, effective global commercial marketing teams convene a cross-functional War Room team to focus on the success of the launch. These special teams encourage and cultivate multifunctional collaboration between internal company stakeholders and customers. With this collaborative marketing, sales, manufacturing, customer service, product field support, service, and operations teams can make decisions and disseminate information back to the sales teams and directly to the customers. Open and real-time dialogue ensures all parties are aligned when it comes to anticipating, navigating, and managing challenges the product or service may encounter during its first 90 days post-launch.
The War Room team should meet regularly—it is advised a minimum of three times each week—to strategize and make decisions. For the War Room to be most productive, it is essential that meetings include the sales management team and all support staff. This includes field support, clinical training, medical education, quality and customer service from all regions the product has or will be launched.
The most successful cross-functional War Room teams are the ones that disseminated critical information real time to the sales force and their customers. Perfecting this communication loop makes all the difference between a seamless product or service launch, and a launch which is mediocre. The more effective the War Room team is within the first 90 days post-launch and the more engaged the team is across internal members and consumers, the more likely the product will build credibility among the sales team. A sales team that experiences the credibility of a product will be more confident in promoting the new product to customers.